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Historic Bedford County church reopens doors for first time in years

Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 5:32 PM EST
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Right on Bedford County’s Joppa Mill Road stands a historical site - one that’s been around well over a century.

“Land was donated back in the 1800s and it was donated specifically to build a church,” said Marion Craighead, former member.

The small white church now known as Ole Rugged Cross Church has seen generations of people pass by.

And it’s one that’s now done the opposite of many other churches in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And it just so happened how he worked, he just put people in my path that brought me here and just next thing I know, I’m signing a lease and we opened it up September 6 and it’s been a blessing ever since,” said Jason Ellis, pastor.

Ellis established a new congregation here during a time when many other churches were closing their doors due to the pandemic.

He says he felt the calling to bring new life into the old building.

“We are loving and we want to be a part of something and as people saw that, they just poured in,” said Ellis.

Historically a Black church, the congregation has now become more diverse.

Craighead grew up going here and says she’s glad to see the doors get reopened.

“I’m seeing it go a long way in the future. I’m expecting it to go a long way,” said Craighead.

For Ellis, getting new faces after being closed for two years represents a new way forward.

“I just love the spirit here. I love the people that are here. Truly, when I say brothers and sisters in Christ, that’s the way I look at it - they are my brothers and sisters and I love every minute of it,” said Ellis.

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